All those months of talking up how cool it is to be a big sister or brother are almost water under the bridge now. When your contractions start for real is no time to plan for sisters and brothers and baby. Your choices now can make becoming an older sibling a highlight in your child’s life.
Including your other children in pregnancy and birth plans is a great parenting move. Advance planning can make your birth a little more peaceful, knowing that your other kids won’t be blindsided by the many changes the new baby brings. Making lots of time to communicate with – and listen to – your older kids can be illuminating. It might just make you think of new things to include – just for them – in your birth plan or on your hospital bag checklist.
SIBLINGS USUALLY LIKE TO HELP
Your older child or children will probably enjoy helping with baby’s room or clothing preparations, packing their own hospital bag, and making lists about what their role can be when you’re all home together. Is your three year old going to be the diaper-getter? Be sure to show them where the diapers will be. Is your adolescent going to help with cooking? Stock up on the ingredients they like best.
Is your child going with you to the birthing center? Asking them to choose the clothes to take, food to eat, and stuff to do makes the event more real and makes them feel like a more important part of it. If their toy is noisy (movie, computer game, music), remind them to include earbuds or headphones on their own hospital bag checklist. BTW, who’s going to be with them to manage the long hours?
If your children are old enough, can they take on a job like writing down what time baby’s born or taking pictures? Together, you can decide what they’d like to do to welcome baby.
If you’ve decided to have your siblings-to-be at the birth, remember to state in your birth plan that you want them in the room, when possible. But remember to tell your kids that birth is unpredictable, and the best plans (yours or theirs) can get waylaid.
If you’re staying in the hospital when they go home, have a little gift ready in your hospital bag for them to take with or have one at home to open. Being the older sibling comes with all sorts of new honor and changes. Having their own gift will celebrate the day they became big brother or sister.
To learn more about older siblings, download our free Birth Plan eBook now. After three years of research, collaboration with more than 100 childbirth experts and resource centers from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Best Ever Baby Birth Plan Guide is available for a free download.
This new resource for pregnant families is a compilation of top tips and advice from more than 20 nationally-recognized experts in the field including renowned pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene and GraceFull Birthing founder, midwife Elizabeth Bachner. These trusted experts offer thoughtful guidance for whatever type of birthing experience parents want, in whichever setting they choose.
Published: August 19, 2015 | Reviewed by: Kim Walls, Natural Products Expert, Elizabeth Bachner, LM, CPM, L.Ac., Midwife | Last reviewed: August, 2015